Shiro paused, axe held above his head. The sea breeze bent the grass along the ridge, every stalk pointing toward him, his humble hut, and the forest surrounding them on three sides. As the wind subsided, Shiro heard the hush of the surf and the barking of the dog.
He let the axe fall and left it quivering in the stump. He collected the logs he had split into quarters and placed them on the woodpile. His back ached as he stretched. He would not have to feign infirmity, as once had been his custom when greeting visitors.
—Dave Gross, "Shiro Hears the Cicadas," By Faerie Light